In March 2015, the UK treasury confirmed that 1p and 2p coins will continue to be used “for years to come”. However, it has recently been suggested that due to a cash usage slump, The Royal Mint is set to go ten years without producing anymore 2p coins!

But it’s not just our coppers at stake.. The same applies for £2 coins, as it has been revealed that in March 2020, The Royal Mint was sitting on 26 times as many £2 coins as it needed to.

According to the National Audit Office’s report into Britain’s cash usage, the number of coins produced each year by The Royal Mint fell by nearly two-thirds between 2011 and this year.

Less than a quarter of all payments were made by cash last year, according to figures released in June by the banking trade body UK Finance.

It’s fair to assume that even less cash has been used since the start of 2020 due to the coronavirus leading to fears of cash usage and a move to more contactless payments.

However, The Mint told Britain’s spending watchdog that there had been ‘sharp increases in demand’ for change ‘as many businesses and consumers hoarded coins in the early months of the pandemic’.

As a result, the Treasury ordered The Royal Mint to strike 60 million additional 1p coins over the summer to meet this new demand. So make sure you keep your eyes peeled for these new 1p coins, especially if you’re collecting dateruns!

The Royal Mint are required to forecast the demand for small change to ensure it keeps enough coins in stock without striking too few or too many, but with significant fluctuations in consumer behaviour in recent years, this has no doubt been a challenge.

Round Pounds

In 2017, after the introduction of the new 12-sided £1, The Royal Mint saw a swell in its coin stocks as people rushed to return their round pounds, ending up returning loose change of other denominations at the same time.

Source: National Audit Office

According to the NAO, at the end of March, The Royal Mint aimed to hold 700,000 £2 coins, but actually held 18.7million. And rather than holding its target of 15.9million 2p coins, it held 127.1million.

As a result, in March of this year, The NAO said The Royal Mint had estimated ‘it did not envisage producing any new 2p or £2 coins for at least 10 years’.

We haven’t seen a £2 enter circulation since 2016, so, could this mean that those 2016 dated £2s and 2017 dated 2p coins are the last of their kind? We certainly hope not.

But what about our coppers? Do you think we still need 1p and 2p coins in circulation? Have your say by voting in our poll on Facebook.

And what could the future for Britain’s definitive coinage be if the 1p and 2p coins were removed? Currently the definitive coins from 1p to 50p come together to create The Royal Shield, but with two key pieces missing, could this lead to a complete re-design?

We’d love to hear what you think about the use of cash vs card and the demand for our smaller denominations, so leave us a comment below to share your thoughts.


If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

January 2019 eBay Tracker Update

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app

It’s been revealed that no 1p and 2p coins were struck for circulation by The Royal Mint last year.

This marks the first time in decades that no penny coins were struck in a year. In fact, the last time we saw a year with no new 1p coins was way back in 1972! And it’s been 35 years since the last time no new 2p coins were struck for circulation.

The future of the penny

Back in May 2019, the UK Treasury confirmed that 1p and 2p coins will continue to be used “for years to come”. Find out the full story here.

This news emerged following concerns that the 1p and 2p coins would be scrapped after their validity was questioned in the 2018 Spring Statement.

Members of the public were outraged by the idea of the humble penny being scrapped. However it isn’t just sentimental value which has safeguarded the future of the penny.

It’s estimated that around 2.2 people are thought to be reliant on cash to live their daily lives. This includes the elderly, vulnerable people and rural communities who would likely be hit hard if cash availability were to decline.

Card payments are on the rise

Nevertheless, it is clear that card and electronic payments are on the rise and whilst around 500 million 1p and 2p coins are usually issued each year, the fact that none were produced last year goes to show how low the demand for these coins currently is.

We already know that no 20p or £2 coins were struck for circulation in 2017 and it’s also been revealed that no £2 coins were struck for circulation in 2018 either.

A spokesperson from the Treasury said, “We didn’t ask the mint to issue any £2 or 1p/2p coins this past year because there are already enough of these in circulation. Our coins are of the highest quality and the amount we ask the Royal Mint to produce every year depends on demand from banks and Post Offices.”

Commemorative £2 coins

Despite no £2 coins entering circulation since 2016, collector editions of the new commemorative designs have still been produced by The Royal Mint to mark Britain’s most important anniversaries.

Whilst some people are happy to pay a little more to secure the latest coins in superior quality, others are understandably frustrated by the lack of coins entering circulation recently.

To give collectors the chance to own 2019 UK £2 and 50p coins for just face value, this year we launched the Change Checker Face Value Coin Ballot, which you can find out about here.

Spending a penny

It’s thought that around 10.5 billion 1p coins are currently in circulation, but the Treasury estimates that roughly 60% of copper coins are typically only used once before being stashed away or lost.

Despite the lack of 1p and 2p coins being struck for circulation last year, we know that the future of our UK coins is still secure (for now at least), but how often do you find yourself actually spending your 1p and 2p coins?

Let us know in our Facebook poll:


If you’re interested in coin collecting, our Change Checker web app is completely free to use and allows users to:

– Find and identify the coins in their pocket
– Collect and track the coins they have
– Swap their spare coins with other Change Checkers

Change Checker Web App Banner 2 Amends 1024x233 1 1024x233 - Your January 2019 Scarcity Index update!

Sign up today at: www.changechecker.org/app